It’s been an interesting one, folks. Three months ago Edna (the teabus) and I started a 2+ North American Tour with no itinerary. The plan has been to have no plans, allowing us to roam the country with no obligations and the freedom to go and stay where we find the most appealing.
However, this ‘no plan’ thing has been more of a challenge than I thought it would be – in fact I thought it would be the opposite of a challenge. When you don’t have plans, it actually makes you have more plans in your head. This is because your options are limitless. There are so many things pushing and pulling in different directions that you start making plans in your head of what all the options are, how they could all fit together, if you do this then you can do that, etc. It makes for a much more complicated picture in one’s head, as opposed to having a solid plan to base things off of.
It has also been a pain in the butt for people to make plans with me because my plans are so in the air. (Sorry!)
I am becoming more aware of the fact that one MUST make plans in life. If you don’t have ANY plans, then you would just sit in a seat. You wouldn’t even get up to go to the bathroom. You have to make a plan to go to the bathroom. You have to make a plan to eat. You have to make a plan to go anywhere. Is there a place where you reach broader realms of plans that you don’t HAVE to do? Where is the cut off between planning to meet your necessities and planning that is not necessary?
Also, being on the west coast still, we have lots of people and places pushing and pulling on us. It is nice to have so many options! But I am looking forward to our push eastward (when will that be?!), which will likely be a little looser with less pushing and pulling.
I think my conclusion with all this is that it is okay to have rough plans that have freedom surrounding them. Planning larger things a few months in advance, medium things a month in advance, small things a week in advance, and tiny things daily, seems to feel right for me. I like this, combined with allowing space around many plans. For instance, if I plan to be in Montana for an event in a month, I can take my time to get there, stopping places as they feel right, shifting schedules as needed, taking a detour to visit a place someone suggests, and showing up on time.
And it is this philosophy I have began to try to embody.
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Ever since the WFR course we have been floating around a place that has definitely been a home base on and off over the years: the Arcata/Eureka area. And it has been super good! I met my little three-month-old nephew and spent some time with my brother.
After helping my buddy Nature Joe out with his “Ark”, he let me use the shop space, where I pieced together wood trim and a cabinet to house a garden on Edna’s side door. I also served tea at Arts Arcata and Arts Alive in Eureka, which has been an amazing part of my community here. I also have been working on finishing my WVO conversion (finally! – blog entries to come). It feels like home here, with family, friends, resources, shop, and all. It’s no wonder I have been here for three weeks!
And that’s what it’s about: spending time in places that feel right. Nomadicism is not about how for you go, how many places you say you’ve been, or anything of that nature. Nomadicism is about spending time in places you value, camping with a community you cherish, and being ready to move on when you’re called to.
When will we go east? I’m not sure if that’s relevant. It will most likely happen sometime during our 2+ Year North American Tour, but who knows
As I came down through WA, OR, and now Northern CA, many people have been enthusiastic about my itinerary-less journey. I think it’s a romantic notion that many people who live repetitive lives, or do things they don’t want to many days of the week, fall in love with. It has inspired many people, but I am beginning to realize that it’s not exactly as romantic as it sounds. We need plans in order to do many things (e.g. I need to plan on filling my water tank in order to serve tea). But there is a level of not needing plans that I am trying to work out. Some plans are probably needed on all levels, but infusing it with freedom by allowing time between plans and flexibility is of the utmost importance for this journey.
Here’s where I will leave you. I am off to figure out some plans!